Social Studies Education and Science Education
Consider voting on a proposal to build a sewage treatment facility to deal with the sewage currently dropped untreated into a nearby body of water when the costs of construction and maintenance of the facility require an increase in taxes. In order to make an informed decision, voters would need enough science background to understand studies of the risk posed by the sewage to the water ecosystem, a good sense of what constitutes a valid scientific study, and a basic understanding of the potential and limits of the facility engineering and technology. This type of science-related knowledge and understanding is called “science literacy,” and since the 1970s achieving the scientific literacy needed for active engagement in such personal and societal decision-making has become a fundamental goal of modern school science curricula. This approach to science was called “STS”...
KeywordsScience Education Social Study School Subject Scientific Content Knowledge Civic Responsibility
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